When: On until 31st March 2013
Where: Hangar 1, Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8UP
What is it?
A temporary exhibition showcasing original examples of artwork that wartime aircrew created to personalise their aircraft. The exhibition brings together eleven original pieces of aircraft art, taken from aircraft including a Mosquito and a Wellington, plus copies of photographs showing how the artwork appeared on the aircraft.
Aircraft artwork was often located at the nose area and referred to as “nose art”, but it could also to be found on an aircraft’s tail or fuselage. Nose art featured on aircraft all over the world and ranged from cartoon characters to stylised portraits of the aircrew’s sweethearts.
The most historic artwork is the love heart motif taken from the Sopwith Camel of Lieutenant Colonel William Barker, a Canadian World War One Ace who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918. Barker was awarded the medal for single-handedly fighting over 15 German aircraft in one combat, a fight which left him critically wounded.
The exhibition also includes a display of the winning entries from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire’s 2011 nose art competition. This competition invited children and young adults aged between 6-20 to design their own nose art or recreate a classic World War Two image.
The final element of the display is a collection of excerpts from the documentary film “Nose Art and Pin Ups” by Gail Downey. This features the artwork of Don Allen, a ground crew member of the US Army Air Force, whose paintings decorated the noses of fighter aircraft based at Debden in Essex during World War Two.
More info: www.rafmuseum.org.uk